Prologue

* * *

Life can change in a flash—even in what, at first, seem like the most routine of circumstances.

It was one of those busy days at work where the time seemed to go by faster than usual. The Japanese restaurant where I waitressed was packed—the side with hibachi tables and the regular dining section. I bounced back and forth between the two.

“I’m gonna need you to take over table six as well,” my manager told me.

“Sure, no problem,” I answered, taking an order of sukiyaki off the counter.

I’d been waitressing at Mayaka to help make ends meet while paying for school. At twenty-four, I’d gotten a late start on my college education after a few rough years, but I was finally getting my * together.

Today I’d picked up an earlier shift. That turned out to be a very bad idea, because taking over table six forever changed my day—and perhaps my life.

“Can I start you off with some…” I lost my words. My heart nearly stopped as I looked into a familiar but long-lost face—a face I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again.

His eyes widened.

My notepad fell to the floor.

Jace.

Oh my God.

A woman sat across from him.

Who is that?

My throat closed.

The only thing that felt right was running—so I did.

“Excuse me.” I shook my head and turned around swiftly, making my way to the other side of the restaurant, past the shooting flames of the hibachi tables.

Bursting through the swinging doors, I entered the kitchen. “I have an emergency, Mae. I need to get home. I’m sorry to leave during a busy time, but I really need to go.”

“Is everything alright?” she asked.

My words were rushed. “I hope so. Can’t get into it now. I have to head out. I’m so sorry.”

I bolted out of the kitchen. The sun blinded me as I opened the front door of the restaurant and raced through the parking lot to the sidewalk by the main road. Was leaving work a cowardly thing to do? Absolutely. Had I risked my job? Possibly. But no way was I ready to face him. The last time I’d seen Jace was three years ago, and he’d broken my heart into smithereens. Up until that moment, my heart had only ever belonged to him—since the time I was practically a child.

What was he even doing back in Florida? I’d thought he was gone for good. From the look on his face, he hadn’t been expecting to see me working at Mayaka. Who was that woman with him? Why did he have to look even better than I remembered?

My heart felt heavy as I continued to pound the pavement. Of course I’d decided to walk to work today for exercise. A car would’ve been much better when it came to fleeing my past.

I was just about to cross the busy street when I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Jesus, Farrah. Slow the * down.”

I flinched, my heart nearly pounding out of my chest.

When I turned around, his steely blue eyes pierced through me, and I wondered how I’d ever thought I could escape having to face him.

Page 1 of

Penelope Ward

  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 14
  • Chapter 15
  • Chapter 16
  • Chapter 17
  • Chapter 18
  • Chapter 19
  • Chapter 20
  • Chapter 21
  • Chapter 22
  • Chapter 23
  • Chapter 24
  • Chapter 25
  • Chapter 26
  • Chapter 27
  • Chapter 28
  • Chapter 29
  • Chapter 30
  • Chapter 31
  • Chapter 32
  • Chapter 33
  • Chapter 34
  • Chapter 35
  • Chapter 36
  • Chapter 37
  • Chapter 38
  • Chapter 39
  • Chapter 40
  • Chapter 41
  • Chapter 42
  • Chapter 43
  • Chapter 44
  • Chapter 45
  • Chapter 46
  • Chapter 47
  • Chapter 48
  • Chapter 49
  • Chapter 50
  • Chapter 51
  • Chapter 52
  • Chapter 53
  • Chapter 54
  • Chapter 55
  • Chapter 56
  • Chapter 57
  • Chapter 58
  • Chapter 59
  • Chapter 60
  • Chapter 61
  • Chapter 62
  • Chapter 63
  • Chapter 64
  • Chapter 65
  • Chapter 66
  • Chapter 67
  • Chapter 68
  • Chapter 69
  • Chapter 70
  • Chapter 71
  • Chapter 72
  • Chapter 73
  • Chapter 74
  • Chapter 75
  • Chapter 76
  • Chapter 77
  • Chapter 78
  • Chapter 79
  • Chapter 80
  • Chapter 81
  • Chapter 82
  • Chapter 83
  • Chapter 84
  • Chapter 85
  • Chapter 86
  • Chapter 87
  • Chapter 88
  • Chapter 89
  • Chapter 90
  • Chapter 91
  • Chapter 92
  • Chapter 93
  • Chapter 94

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